English for Science and Technology (EST) was a new SPM subject introduced in year 2003 by Malaysian Education Ministry. It is an English test based on science and technology. So, why EST was introduced? I did a quick search using Google and found out the answer.
EST aims to
- provide learners with the language basis to access and understand materials on science and technology in English.
- express ideas and concepts in English.
Source: Good English Essays
For most of the SPM candidates, EST is really an 'Easy & Simple Test'. Many students do well in EST and it is not uncommon for an English 4B student to score 1A in school's EST examination. Why? Look at the EST format.
Paper 1 consists of Information Transfer and Scientific Writing. Paper 2 consists of 30 objective questions.
Source: Good English Essays
Information Transfer and Scientific Writing are both quite difficult for average students. However, I do think that they are easier than English 1119 Summary and Directed Writing respectively. So, do you think EST is an 'Easy and Simple Test'? If your answer is 'yes', think again!
Why EST is a curse rather than a blessing for some top students? After thinking carefully, I come out a list of possible reasons.
- Most SPM candidates especially the intelligent students thought EST was just another easy test paper. Thus, they didn't spend enough time to master EST completely.
- The scientific writing question (in Paper 1) was expected to come out like in 2004 SPM, which asked the candidate to write a report choosing the best method among all three methods given. However, the essay question format in 2005 SPM was totally different from the previous year. Candidate had to write an essay on the formation and the consequences of acid rain based on the points given. Unlike the previous year, no other choice was given!
- There are very few reference books or resources on this new subject (first introduced in form 4 in year 2003). For those who might not know, SPM students don't have EST textbooks! I have asked my EST teacher about this and she told me that EST will be completely removed from the SPM subject list in the next few years. So, our government doesn't want to spend money publishing textbooks for this subject. Unbelievable? Try to believe it!
I have 'survived' from EST (luckily I didn't get a 3B or the lower grade in this subject!). Here are my tips to score 1A in EST. (Yes, I scored 1A in EST)
- I still remember that in the past, I studied EST in class by trying the previous year SPM EST papers and other states' EST papers.
- I didn't buy any reference books for EST since some of them are out-dated. Of course, you can buy exercise books for EST but please make sure the model papers follow the latest format.
- Pay attention to all your EST lessons in class. Keep in mind that your EST teacher is the most reliable source for this subject.
- Attend tuition class. Yes, I know it is very rare and weird to attend EST tuition class. Last year, I attended a one-month-four-class EST tuition class a month before the SPM trial examinations. For me, paying RM40.00 to master EST from the actual EST paper marker is worthy.
- Online EST Resources: Good English Essays, ReCom Forum, Forum Portal Pendidikan Utusan...
Please leave your comment on this post if you have some nice tips to share or know any good resources for SPM English for Science and Technology (EST).
Update: I learned that our goverment has finally made EST a permanent SPM subject. So, I think students will have EST textbooks in the near future.
► Read more on SPM EST - How to Score EST? (Part 2 of 2)